Fibonacci Numbers in Flowers!

Why is it that the number of petals in a flower is often associated with one of the following numbers: 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, or 34? Read on to explore the answer.

Have you heard about the famous Italian mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci and his Fibonacci number series given by the infinite elements: 0,1,1, 2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55,…;? Nature, in particular plants, have no foreknowledge of this number sequence, but surprisingly, majority if not all petal arrangement of flowers carry these numbers!Below are some flowers that follow the Fibonacci number series.

Single-petal Flower

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The calla lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica), is a herbaceous perennial plant native to Southern Africa. A popular cut flowers for wedding bouquets, it average around 0.6–1 m tall with arrowhead-shaped leaves and unique single-petal flower. The showy flowers come in white, shades of green, yellow, pink, purple or orange color. 

2-petal Flower

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Euphorbia is an enormous genus of flowering plants comprising more than 2000 species, widespread in tropical and subtropical areas in North America, Asia and Africa. Its sizes range from small garden weeds to giant large cactus-like shrubs.

3-Petal Flower

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Trillium is a genus of about 40–50 species of perennial flowering plants native in North America and Asia. Trillium averages from 7 to 18 inches and may come in white, pink, yellow, purple color. Its tubular-shaped flowers typically have three petals.

5-Petal Flower

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Columbine is any of about 60-70 species of herbaceous perennial flowering plants of the genus Aquilegia, widespread in woodlands and meadows throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Columbine is characterized by its 1-2 inches long bell-shaped flowers with spurred petals. Flowers colors range from yellow, white, red, pink, blue, purple or bi-colored. Columbine is the state flower of Colorado.

8-Petal flower

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Delphinium or larkspur, is a genus of perennial flowering plant numbering to about 300 species mostly found in forest clearings of the Northern Hemisphere and tropical Africa. The erect flowering stem varies sizes in certain species, from 10 centimeters up to 2 meters tall. The showy, spiked flowers can come in white, yellow, red, blue, or purple colors.

13-Petal Flower

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The Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta), is an upright annual flowering plant found throughout North America. This cold hardy plant can grow up to a meter tall. The flower’s domed center, which is dark purplish brown in color is encircled by thirteen petals. Flowers colors may come in yellow, orange, gold, orange, mahogany or russet.

21-Petal flower

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Asters are perennial flowering plants found mostly in North America and Eurasia, comprising around 180 known species. A popular garden plant, it is typically herbaceous, though some species are shrubs and trees. It has a yellow dome-shaped flower head surrounded by 21elliptical-shaped petals. Colors range from white, pink red, purple or mauve.

34-Petal Flower

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Daisies are flowering plants falling under the the Daisy Family of Asteraceae which are native to central and north Europe. Although a number of species contain different number of petals, but typically, daisies commonly 34 petals. The flower stalk with yellow central disk support a single flower surrounded by white, pink or rose colored petals.

About the Author:

Papaleng runs a blog Amazing Animals and is a memeber of The Filipino Diaspora

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48 Responses to “Fibonacci Numbers in Flowers!”
  1. Ima Vee Says...

    On May 3, 2011 at 3:54 am

    Wow… you’re a genius Sir Papz, I never thought of relating Fibonacci numbers to the petals of flowers. And now that you mentioned it, it really got me wondering too. God really made nature with mysteries.

    The flowers are so beautiful… Tamang-tama for Flores de Mayo.
    Excellent share Sir Papz..


  2. Baijayanti Pradhan Says...

    On May 3, 2011 at 4:01 am

    Interesting article with beautiful pictures.


  3. el zorro Says...

    On May 3, 2011 at 4:02 am

    among the many decorations that God has entrusted to man.

    Inspiring posts Papz :)


  4. arielcnacion Says...

    On May 3, 2011 at 4:29 am

    you lived up to my expectations papaleng, and what you just told me/us about your picture search time. =) ima vee is right, hindi nga madali isipin ung irelate mo ang fibo thing sa petals.


  5. Edsss Says...

    On May 3, 2011 at 4:29 am

    Everything on this world has mysteries! (:
    The flowers makes me feel a bit fine…
    Good post paps!


  6. culprit pontiff Says...

    On May 3, 2011 at 4:39 am

    math is the exact science…nice pictures and article paps…


  7. jrabraham Says...

    On May 3, 2011 at 4:42 am

    I never heard about Leonardo Fibonacci before this article..though you gave me something to ponder upon. Nice post :)


  8. Macherie Says...

    On May 3, 2011 at 4:59 am

    wow, worth the wait naman paps!=D ang ganda ganda ng article!


  9. Verniel Cutar Says...

    On May 3, 2011 at 5:03 am

    Hi papaleng. I think this article should qualify for the Triond quality challenge for the month of May. Great to finally “meet” you. ;)


  10. webseowriters Says...

    On May 3, 2011 at 5:11 am

    beautiful


  11. kanivel Says...

    On May 3, 2011 at 5:14 am

    So colourful. By the way, what made you link the fibonacci series with the number of petals papaleng? Curious…


  12. Charita Gil Says...

    On May 3, 2011 at 6:02 am

    Great flowers! Great post!


  13. Christine Ramsay Says...

    On May 3, 2011 at 6:19 am

    That is so interesting, Papaleng. I would never have noticed that in flowers though I did play around with this number system when doing problem solving with my students at school.


  14. nobert soloria bermosa Says...

    On May 3, 2011 at 6:31 am

    simple and easy to understand…nice bro


  15. Lady Sunshine Says...

    On May 3, 2011 at 6:32 am

    Interesting! The flowers are beautiful.


  16. real lady Says...

    On May 3, 2011 at 6:38 am

    Great entry papaleng. I bet this will earn thousands of views. :)


  17. lapasan Says...

    On May 3, 2011 at 7:17 am

    Interesting article. Nature has really full of wonders.


  18. solidadah Says...

    On May 3, 2011 at 8:21 am

    so beautiful..i love them :D


  19. AJ Garcia Says...

    On May 3, 2011 at 8:25 am

    I love them all! They are all so pretty. :)


  20. PR Mace Says...

    On May 3, 2011 at 9:23 am

    I have never heard of this and I found it quite interesting. Good article.


  21. mtrguanlao Says...

    On May 3, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Love all of it idol especially daisies! :)


  22. sanataryal Says...

    On May 3, 2011 at 9:36 am

    Great botanical informations.Thank you.


  23. pguims Says...

    On May 3, 2011 at 10:38 am

    ang galing mo paps! applied ang engineering knowledge natin ngayon ah.. :-)


  24. Anuradha Ramkumar Says...

    On May 3, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    A very unique way of presenting these colorful flowers. Posted my comment on FB first.


  25. oncewantobeawriter Says...

    On May 3, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    Tama si Ariel. Worth nman ang 1 day for picture lang…ang ganda ng mga bulaklak…


  26. Ambi2010 Says...

    On May 3, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    beautiful.


  27. Brewed Coffee Says...

    On May 4, 2011 at 1:56 am

    I first came across Fibonacci numbers in Dan Brown’s book. Later I found out this number sequence is not only seen in nature but is also used as a statistical tool in the stock market. Really fascinating and brilliant observation by Fibonacci.


  28. eddiego65 Says...

    On May 4, 2011 at 8:07 am

    Beautiful pictures.


  29. Phoenix Montoya Says...

    On May 4, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Gorgeous flowers and wonderful info but I really don’t count the petals, its the thought of the giver that counts lol


  30. Sharif Ishnin Says...

    On May 4, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    Truly unique petal shapes and sizes.An enjoyable colorful entry.


  31. lonelyplanet Says...

    On May 5, 2011 at 3:11 am

    Wow..I didn’t know that. Good post.


  32. Rhodora Bande Says...

    On May 5, 2011 at 3:24 am

    Lovely collection of photos. I, too, became fascinated with the Fibonacci sequence after reading Dan Brown’s book. You started it with flowers, what about the human body parts? It will also be an interesting entry. Sana, makasali ito sa kanilang pakulo ngayong buwan.


  33. bobie Says...

    On May 5, 2011 at 3:33 am

    another good quality article papaleng..nice share..


  34. Melody SJAL Says...

    On May 7, 2011 at 9:50 am

    Very interesting info…I really love flowers and flower photos.


  35. Likha Says...

    On May 8, 2011 at 5:11 am

    Science and art combined in one unique article. Pwedeng-pwede ang mga ito sa “He loves me… he loves me not!”


  36. Dee Gold Says...

    On May 8, 2011 at 6:20 am

    Congratulations po
    hay,kaya naman pala nasa top contents,job well done paps


  37. dame016 Says...

    On May 8, 2011 at 10:42 am

    Hala, ang galing mo naman. Galing mong mag research! :) Interesting.


  38. Cyni1106 Says...

    On May 8, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Very well written article. It was the Flowers that attracted my attention, Thank you for the beautiful pictures and the share.
    :)


  39. Photographs and Memories Says...

    On May 9, 2011 at 4:43 am

    Really interesting! This one got me thinking. :D


  40. LewSethics Says...

    On May 9, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Interesting article. I always like fibinacci facts.


  41. monica55 Says...

    On May 11, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    This is very educational, and the collection is gorgeous. Lovely work.
    Monica on Triond.


  42. LCM Linda Says...

    On May 11, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    Interesting topic. Beautiful flowers. I seldom see the single petal and 2-petal flowers.


  43. athena goodlight Says...

    On May 12, 2011 at 6:57 am

    This just goes to show that Fibonacci is present in almost anything. BTW, congrats for making it to the TC. :)


  44. valli Says...

    On May 15, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Fascinating information.


  45. Ukrainian Says...

    On May 26, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Very interesting article with beautiful pictures.


  46. beingwell Says...

    On August 27, 2011 at 6:47 am

    It’s so nice. Thanks for sharing.


  47. SharifaMcFarlane Says...

    On October 1, 2011 at 12:06 am

    I studied this in Math. Lovely pictures and article.


  48. Jared Says...

    On September 10, 2012 at 7:59 am

    Not only that, nature is also intertwined with the Divine Proportion, which is 1.618


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